From some of the oldest landmarks in the United States to some of the most modern wonders America has to offer; from the peace and solitude of small-town Mark Twain life to the excitement and nightlife of America’s largest casinos; from the foothills of the Appalachians to the shores where our ancestors first set foot on the solid ground of the new world – you’ll find it all right here in Connecticut!
The diversity of Connecticut, one of the original thirteen colonies that declared statehood and independence, is astonishing. And because it’s one of our smallest states, it’s easy to take part in everything the area has to offer during a short stay, or fill an extended stay with enough different activities to appeal to every member of the family.
Spend the day hiking through the woods and the evening at one of the largest casinos in the country, with time out for dinner at a world-class restaurant and an entertainment break with one of the top stars in the world. Spend the day on one of the picturesque beaches and the evening in the coziness of a Bed & Breakfast in an old farmhouse
With each of the major tourist areas within an hour’s drive of each other, and each offering a truly rural setting anchored by a large – and historic – metropolitan area, Connecticut is the place to go!
CONNECTICUT – NORTHEAST AREA
– Heritage Valley Connecticut’s Heritage Valley is where it all began for this state. The first town was founded here and there are nine other towns in the area representing traditions from manufacturing to farming communities, college towns and businesses. You’re also ready to make quick visits to Boston, Providence, Newport and New York. The towns are full of quaint shops, historic sites, great restaurants, and beautiful old inns.
– Quiet Corner If you’ve ever seen a Connecticut postcard or an advertisement symbolizing small-town New England life, you already know what “Quiet Corner” is all about. Small towns sprang up between working farms, grazing cattle along the river. There’s a plethora of dining experiences here, from upscale country inns in the quaint town of Woodstock to roadhouses as you approach the Massachusetts border.
– Hartford Metro Area The state capital of Connecticut is the perfect place to base your stay in the Nutmeg state. A major metropolitan area, Hartford has everything a major city has to offer: museums, nightlife, fine dining, great shopping. And the location gives you quick, easy access to everything else the state has to offer: the countryside, beaches, New York City, a quiet New England village, casino gambling and entertainment or a concert in the town square. As the insurance capital of the world, Hartford itself is a sophisticated city that has experienced a major revival, offering world-class entertainment, arts and cultural attractions as well as a multitude of opportunities for the more intellectually inclined. For the committed city dweller who wants a taste of what New England living has to offer without giving up big city comforts and convenience, Hartford is the ideal place to center your stay in the Nutmeg State.
CONNECTICUT – NORTHWEST REGION
Dividing what most people would initially consider a small region into smaller areas may seem like splitting hairs. But the diversity of this region requires attention to each of the exciting and entertaining locations you will visit during your stay in Connecticut.
– Central Connecticut & New Britain The small town life enjoyed by all Americans from the very beginning to the 1950s is still a “way of life” in this area. Halfway between Boston and New York City, you can visit almost everything this entire country has to offer in this microcosm of America. Flea markets, county fairs, art festivals, museums, working farms, small towns, modern cities. All of these are found in Central Connecticut. The area’s main appeal is that its rural character offers you the relaxation that modern living demands as part of any holiday. However, you can easily balance the quiet times with the fun and excitement that are within a short drive of your hideaway. Base your holiday in the great city of New Britain or just outside the city limits and everything is within easy reach.
– Housatonic Valley & Bridgewater/Danbury Small towns, historic villages and quaint shops dot the landscape as you wander through the past in the Housatonic Valley. Enjoy the tranquility of country life all day – stop for some traditional food at an in on one of the picturesque back roads, do some antiquing and watch the sun set over the rolling hills. Head to the Bridgewater/Danbury district for world-class dining and vibrant nightlife. In the evening, return to your country inn or stay in one of the fine hotels in town and spend the day exploring some of the great museums and other attractions in town and treating yourself to great shopping, including some of the local and national factory stores. – represented in the area.
– Litchfield Hills This area is truly “New England”. The working and preserved farms give way to the rolling hills. As you wind through the hills and begin your ascent into the mountain range, you can stop for a swim or picnic or simply take a stroll around one of the many alpine lakes and streams in some of the best-manicured state parks in the country. Covered bridges, which attract tourists, photographers and artists from all over the world, span the streams and rivers that lead to the small towns and villages where the bandstand in the village square promises an evening concert after enjoying a home-cooked meal in one of the many good restaurants. Then retreat to one of the old inns or B&Bs that flourish in the area for a truly relaxing, old-world getaway.
– Waterbury Region A large city surrounded by the incredible New England countryside. Who could ask for more! Truly the best of all worlds, this area is like getting a taste of everything New England has to offer in one convenient area. Museums, theater, shopping, musical entertainment all await you in the city. To get away from it all, drive just a few miles and you’ll find yourself in the heart of the best New England has to offer.
CONNECTICUT – SOUTH EAST REGION
River Valley & Shoreline The rolling hills and small towns along the Connecticut River lead you to the beautiful Atlantic Coast dotted with beaches, fishing villages and marinas. The perfect combination of countryside and coast, this area has played such a big part in New England life since the first settlers. Experience it all in one of the most relaxing settings in New England.
The city of Mystic is the perfect combination of new and old. Here lies Olde Mistick Village, the finest example of ancient seafaring life in the Northeast. The perfectly preserved village and beautiful tall ships and fishing boats offer an unrivaled combination of fun and history. The inns and bed and breakfast establishments offer comfortable rooms and fine dining for a true taste of ocean life. The nearby town of Stonington has much the same appeal but is not quite as busy. The beaches and fishing are some of the best on the east coast and there are plenty of opportunities for sailing and boat trips.
The evenings in these quiet towns can be offset by the excitement offered by the fabulous Mohecan Sun and Foxwoods casinos. The largest and most successful casinos in the world, these 24-hour, 365-day-a-year establishments offer all the excitement of Las Vegas or Monte Carlo, but with the convenience and affordability of New England. They offer dining for every taste and pocket, from exquisite ethnic and local fast food to true luxury dishes. The showrooms, lounges, bars and theaters are a must for any major act touring the country and many of these great shows are free. From senior bingo and quarter slots to blackjack and high roller events and competitions, just about anyone can enjoy the excitement of gaming, regardless of their budget. Sail during the day and relax at your inn in the evening or relax on the beach all day to prepare for an evening of excitement at the casinos – this area is truly one of the great destinations for a classic New England vacation.
CONNECTICUT – SOUTHWEST AREA
Coastal Fairfield Fairfield County is the destination for the tourist who likes to keep busy! As you travel up the coast from Manhattan, you’ll pass through the bedroom communities of the big apple from Greenwich to Bridgeport, each with its own flavor and personality. The beaches along Long Island Sound are some of the most beautiful in the country—in the world, in fact—and that’s just one of the reasons so many are drawn to the area. The towns along the coast and those just a short drive inland represent an unparalleled combination of big-city sophistication with small-town tradition. The colleges, museums, theater groups, malls, and sports teams of the towns and cities form a dividing line between the fine fishing, boating, and swimming of the South and the warmth of genuine Yankee hospitality in the North. And in the summer there are an unprecedented number of special events – over 1000 at last count – from arts festivals to the PT Barnum Festival, from parades to seafood festivals and everything else in between. You are guaranteed a great time in this area on any day you visit.
Greater New Haven If you travel up the coast, you’ll find that it’s all topped off with the great city of New Haven. Home to the century-old Ivy League Yale University, this historic city offers excellent opportunities to discover the best of what Connecticut has to offer – an amazing intellectual community brimming with museums and libraries, classical music and theater, historic sites, great international cuisine and a vibrant club and pop music scene. It’s all here in New Haven and just a hop, skip and jump away are the great beaches on one side and the scenic countryside on the other. A perfect place to see and experience everything you’re looking for on a New England vacation.